r.i.p. Aaron Swartz (1986 - 2013). He committed suicide by hanging himself last week. This is a tragic loss for planet Earth and a huge step backward for all of us and The Archive regarding Universal access to all knowledge. I apologize for not posting about this until now.
One year ago today, on Jan 17, 2012, Jeff Kaplan announced on The Archive, 12 Hours Dark: Internet Archive vs. Censorship
The Internet Archive believes that it is critical to protest and raise awareness of pending legislation in the United States: House Bill 3261, The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S.968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).
Archive.org is going dark from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm PDT on Wednesday January 18 (14:00 – 02:00 GMT) to drive a message to Washington. We need your help to do this.
Legislation such as this directly affects libraries (pdf) such as the Internet Archive, which collects, preserves, and offers access to cultural materials. Furthermore, these laws can negatively affect the ecosystem of web publishing that led to the emergence of the Internet Archive.
These bills would encourage the development of blacklists to censor sites with little recourse or due process. The Internet Archive is already blacklisted in China—let’s prevent the United States from establishing its own blacklist system.
For United States residents, please take action.
For non-US residents: Sorry for dragging you into this, and if you are willing, sign a petition to the State Department to express your concern.
Aaron Swartz is the founder of Demand Progress, which launched the campaign against the Internet censorship bills (SOPA/PIPA) and now has over a million members.
excerpts reported by John Schwartz, published on Jan 12, 2013
Aaron Swartz, a wizardly programmer who as a teenager helped develop code that delivered ever-changing Web content to users and who later became a steadfast crusader to make that information freely available, was found dead on Friday, Jan 11 in his New York apartment.
At 14, Mr. Swartz helped create RSS, the nearly ubiquitous tool that allows users to subscribe to online information. He later became an Internet folk hero, pushing to make many Web files free and open to the public. But in July 2011, he was indicted on federal charges of gaining illegal access to JSTOR, a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary journals, and downloading 4.8 million articles and documents, nearly the entire library.
Charges in the case, including wire fraud and computer fraud, were pending at the time of Mr. Swartz’s death, carrying potential penalties of up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
• Aaron Swartz’s Partner, Expert Witness Say Prosecutors Unfairly Targeted Dead Activist
Outrage is growing over the U.S. Justice Department’s prosecution of the 26-year-old who committed suicide last week just weeks before he was to go on trial. Pioneering computer programmer and cyber activist Aaron Swartz was facing up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted for using computers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to download millions of academic articles provided by the nonprofit research service JSTOR. As the chief prosecutor Carmen Ortiz defends her actions, we speak to Swartz’s partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, and computer security consultant Alex Stamos, who would have been the chief expert witness at Swartz’s trial. We invited representatives from the U.S. Attorneys office and MIT to join us, but they declined.
• Aaron Swartz death by government Googled for you